7 HR leaders reveal their most important communication skills

The world of work is changing.

For many companies and industries, these changes have come quickly and violently. Remote work has taken the world by storm, and we find that many of our effective communication methods are no longer as effective as before.

Considering how much Online collaboration tools Available. Modern collaboration tools can accomplish the type of high-quality remote communication you need. But implementing these tools is only part of the equation.

When we change communication channels, we fundamentally change the way people communicate-from the way the team exchanges information for ongoing projects to the way employees stay engaged, to how rumors are spread in office gossip.

This means that everyone-grassroots team members, human resources, managers, and senior leaders-while using these new tools, needs to learn better and effective communication methods.

Fortunately for all of us, many human resource professionals are already ahead in this regard.

To help all of us communicate better in this new environment, we use the knowledge of leading HR leaders to discover their main communication skills in the modern workplace.

New communication challenges in the remote world

Coping with this shift to a remote team is not as simple as adding an instant messaging application to your communications and continuing. The dispersed workforce brings new and often unforeseen communications challenges.

The dominance of remote work means that you and your team must often communicate without the help of facial expressions and body language.

Because they are out of daily life in the office, it is also harder for employees to understand how their roles fit into the company’s long-term strategic goals. There will also be far fewer spontaneous thoughts surrounding water dispensers.

We can continue. But the reality is that humans rely heavily on personal interaction for professional communication. And you can’t ignore the communication gap created when the workplace is remote.

Due to the central role of human resources in personnel operations, human resources directors are the first to recognize these gaps and take actions to bridge the gaps.

Here is what some of the best people have learned in the process, and how they use their favorite communication skills to keep the remote team in touch, reduce misunderstandings, and emphasize the “team” in the remote team.

Integrated video

In the process of transitioning to remote work, we all know that video is very important. But even so, there are still many people trying to use it to escape. (Think about how many video conference calls you have, most or all participants have turned off their cameras.)

Tracy Brower, author The secret to happiness at work, Which means it’s wrong to avoid using video in video calls and other places. She outlines a few reasons why you should use video:

  • The video shows responsibility.
  • Video conveys confidence.
  • Video builds trust and rapport.
  • Videos can help you participate.
  • The video will make you unforgettable.

Tracy explained: “Of course, video may not always be appropriate, but the more desirable circumstances have expanded. It conveys a powerful message about your responsibilities, your confidence, and your openness.”

Internal communication expert Mark Attard Point out that video also plays an important role in addition to live meetings:

“Video will play a greater role as a storytelling channel and a connector for people. It effectively has an emotional impact and is well worth the investment.”

If you are in a leadership position or human resources professional, please use your camera and record a video call during the call to send to anyone who cannot make the call.

In addition, remember that video is an effective storytelling medium. In many cases, it can convey your information better than standard email and Slack messages. Turn your most important information into short, memorable videos that keep your employees aligned and interact with them.

In project management applications, many of our face-to-face conversations have become emails, Slack messages, and notes. Intuitively, we tend to simply write down what we say in person. The problem is that when you convert spoken language into textual words, you lose a lot of context.

Business communication expert James Chatron Explain what this means:

“We can’t see smiles or friendly expressions. When we read emails, we can’t hear a person’s voice. We miss the details that help us perceive the emotions of the moment. All we see are outspoken. Black and white .”

Because of this, James said, if you use the same words in your writing as you personally use, you will end up sounding harsher than you expected.

“Lack of those important visual and auditory cues to fill the gaps in the expected pitch, [written words] It usually reads like a machine gun bullet. No wonder people become spiny. “

James said that it is important to pay attention to your written tone and tone. If you don’t do this, you may inadvertently cause tension. She suggested some simple fixes to make your written communication more friendly:

  • Ask, don’t say. In writing, direct instructions will be issued upon request.

  • Use an exclamation point. Avoid overusing them, but if you want the sentence to sound optimistic or happy, the exclamation mark can prevent it from being read as a bland statement.

  • Start with the disclaimer. If you want to provide feedback or solve a difficult topic, please start with a sentence stating that you are writing in a friendly and smiling manner.

“Remember, the recipient cannot see that you are leisurely and casual, or that you feel happy and cheerful. You feel good, of course, you unconsciously think that everyone in the world knows – but they don’t. They can’t . Unless you tell them.”

Explain your intentions, even if it seems unnecessary

Believe it or not, there is a kind of “digital body language” in online communication. Since there are no physical clues to clarify your intentions, people will give meaning to various nonverbal things, such as when you send a message or which communication channel you use to send a message.

Said in the most recent episode Punk Rock HR Podcast, Erica Dhawan explained the problem and the solution in this story:

A leader, Adria, has a quick idea for a project, and she wants her team member Brian to participate in it.So on a Thursday night, she sent them a non-themed calendar invitation, inviting them to have a meeting at 8 am the next morning

She came to the meeting and she hardly knew that Brian thought he was going to be fired. The budget was cut that week, and he stayed up all night. He prepared for the worst. He looked exhausted.

Erica went on to explain that although this story may seem trivial, it emphasizes an important fact: never confuse short information with clear information.

“When it comes to digital body language, simplicity may be your worst enemy.”

In Erica’s story, the time to send calendar invitations and the fact that the meeting was not allocated to Brian means that bad news is coming. His manager did not have any clear intention to tell him.

“The more you can show your intentions to others, the less likely you are to encounter these types of nightmare scenarios,” Erica explained.

The reality is that people will interpret meaning as what you do in online communication, just as they interpret meaning as your body language. Taking time and space to express the intention behind your words helps prevent catastrophic misunderstandings.

Focus your communication on creating experiences

It is undeniable that the shift to remote work has created a need for more communication channels. Most organizations meet this need by adding more collaboration tools and communication technologies to the portfolio.

but Jennifer McClureThe CEO of Unbridled Talent and Disrupt HR stated that adopting new communication technologies is not always as strategic as it should be.

Jennifer said that one of the main failures of adding new communication technologies is that their implementation often has no clear goals, which can leave holes in your internal communications. Other communication tools have been added to patch these vulnerabilities, which in turn will make your online communication messy.

But from a human resources perspective, reducing communication tools may not be a complete solution. instead, Mark Strzner saysFounder and head of management of IA, focused on unifying your technology in a way that enhances the employee experience.

“Create a unified experience so that as an employee, you don’t have to install 30 different applications in the human resources value chain on your phone.”

Rather than simply closing some communication channels, it is better to implement a platform to “integrate all your communications and experiences into a common front door, using all possible media.”

This strategy allows you to continue to use the tools you can use, but in one system, make remote communication less frustrating and overwhelming.

Create a self-service information library

Despite our best efforts to keep in touch, the shift to remote work has affected peer-to-peer information sharing. All the small conversations that took place on the office floor are now happening online. Although many of these conversations are brief, they can make your internal communications noisy.

Danny SperosThe director of human operations at Zenefits says that you can reduce this noise by making it easy for everyone to access resources.

“Anything that people need to do their work, make sure everyone can easily access it, and [accessible] There is no need to go through other people, because different people, different times, different teams, sometimes in a new job-you think you ask a lot of questions, and you don’t want to be troublesome. “

For the HR team, this means collaborating with managers and company leaders to help create a self-service knowledge base that contains all the tidbits of oral communication in the traditional office era.

The key here is to start simple and build your resources over time.A short library Human Resources Video To summarize your most important policy is a low threshold starting point.

Or, create a small series Training video Answer frequently asked questions about office procedures. Use your organization’s file sharing system to give everyone quick access to more in-depth documentation and supplementary video guides.

As Danny said, the goal is to make it easier for people to find and access important information. The easier it is for people to get the information they need, and when they need it, the more likely they are to “enter directly and learn what they need to learn”.

Creating such a system may require some preliminary work. But in the end, you will help your company develop a more self-sufficient workforce so that more work can be done with fewer emails and less confusion.

Use storytelling to make your message more attractive

Think about how many HR reports you sent without getting a response. How often do people ask what all the numbers in your report mean?

Ron ThomasThe managing director of Strategy Focused Group said that if your data-driven HR communication has not caused much sensation, it is not your fault.

This is because none of your HR data is supported by narratives that put numbers in context.

“Sometimes, we are so fascinated by deliverables that we overlook the larger story. We focus too much on spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides, or beautiful reports,” Ron explains.

“When you embed facts and figures, features and benefits, spreadsheets and PowerPoint files-some people call’relatively soulless information’-into a purposeful story, miracles happen. Yours” Telling’ provides an experience for your audience to make the information in the story memorable, resonant and actionable.”

This method is so effective that Ron said that without the accompanying narrative or context, you can’t send a message at all.

“You just have to be more relevant. The days of sending it and making others have to work hard to explain the information are over.”

Try these communication skills yourself

You don’t even need new technology to try most of these hacks. It’s your turn to let these hackers work for you.

If you Do Need tools to help you communicate better, please use Bite Make videos to make all your HR information clearer, more attractive and more memorable. Using Biteable’s template, creating a video will not put you into trouble, and your HR information will be noticed and affected.

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